Wittgenstein and Piccoli

Lucia Morra
Lucia Morra


In 1929 Ludwig Wittgenstein met Raffaello Piccoli, the Serena Professor of Italian, with whom he arranged several meetings in the following terms. For a long time their intellectual friendship was suggested only by the occurrences of Piccoli’s name in Wittgenstein’s Cambridge Pocket Diaries, then a paper about Piccoli including hypothesis on his meetings with Wittgenstein was published (), and more recently, the diaries of a student of both  – 1930 were discovered. The new material, on the background of data now available about Piccoli’s life and works, throws new light onto his relationship with Wittgenstein, and hypothesis on the topics of their conversations are also advanced. Piccoli’s perspective on the difference between ethics, religion and philosophy on the one hand and science on the other was in tune with Wittgenstein’s view and similar was also their aversion towards scientism; furthermore,  – 1931 – Freud, Spengler, Frazer, Augustine, and also James.

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